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Kilbirnie Loch


Site Name Kilbirnie Loch

Classification Logboat

Alternative Name(s) Loch Of Kilbirnie; Kilbirnie Loch 4

Canmore ID 42208

Site Number NS35SW 11

NGR NS 32 54

NGR Description NS c. 32 54

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council North Ayrshire
  • Parish Kilbirnie
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Cunninghame
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS35SW 11 c. 32 54

See also NS35SW 5 and NS35SW 8.

Part of a dug-out canoe from Kilbirnie Loch (name: NS 543 330) was donated to Paisley Museum in 1952-3 by Glengarnock Steel Works. (See also NS35SW 5 and NS35SW 8 ).

Paisley Museum 1953.

(Location formerly cited as NS 330 543; amended to NS c. 32 54). In May 1952 part of a logboat was found on the W side of Kilbirnie Loch and on the property of the Glengarnock Steelworks, through whose slag-dumping operations it had been revealed. Analysis of pollen from the mud found in the interstices of the timber suggested that the logboat might be tentatively assigned to the Sub-Boreal period (pollen zone VIIb), between about 3000 and 700bc.

The surviving portion of the boat was donated to Paisley Museum and is in store under accession number PM 14a-1952. It measures 1.8m in length by up to 0.62m transversely and comprises a substantial fragment of the flat bottom from which project the lower part of one end, and part of one side. The blunt form of the surviving end suggests that it was probably the stern, and the side now measures about 100mm in height. Both warping and splitting have been severe and wax-treatment has been applied.

The bottom varies in thickness between 15mm and 50mm, and among the numerous knot-holes there are four vertical thickness-gauge holes which form two pairs on opposite sides. These have evidently been bored from inside the boat as two of them do not penetrate the timber; three of them measure 25mm by 20mm and the other 25mm by 16mm. The suggestion made in the museum records that these are lacing-holes is incorrect but the possibility that they were intended to retain fitted ribs cannot be discounted. There are slight traces of what may be toolmarks.

The McGrail morphology code of this boat is 12x:xxx:xxx or (less probably) xxx:xxx:12x and the form cannot be assessed.

Paisley Museum 1953; R J C Mowat 1996, visited August 1987.

NMRS, MS/736/2.


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